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Iranian quotes on Egypt's revolution

February 14, 2011
Semira N. Nikou        Iranian leaders have welcomed the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Tehran and Cairo have had tense and difficult relations. The two predominantly Muslim countries had rival forms of rule: Egypt is secular and Iran is an Islamic…

A revolution’s anniversary: Iran’s creeping military rule

February 9, 2011
Shaul Bakhash Iran’s revolution marks its anniversary on Feb. 11. What is the political situation in Iran today?Iran marks the revolution’s 32nd anniversary in dramatically altered circumstances. It emerged from the disputed 2009 presidential election as a far more militarized state. The…

For Iran, both hope and danger in Egypt

February 7, 2011
Daniel Brumberg       Strategically, Iran is hedging its position on the new Middle East turmoil.        The theocrats like to publicly portray the democratic revolts in Tunisia and Egypt as an Islamist tsunami sweeping away corrupt autocracies to replace them with Islamic regimes. But…

Iranians split on Egypt’s turmoil

February 3, 2011
Semira N. Nikou        Iranian leaders, from both the regime and the opposition, are increasingly speaking out about the turmoil in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere. The two sides view the protests from starkly different perspectives, however. The theocracy likes to take credit for inspiring the…

Iran’s New Foreign Minister: Ali Akbar Salehi

January 31, 2011
Mehrzad Boroujerdi      The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is better noted for its dense, jargon-filled technical reports than for grooming future political personalities. Yet former IAEA officials have recently catapulted into the political spotlight of two pivotal countries in the…

Iran and Hezbollah: The balance of power shifts in Lebanon

January 27, 2011
Emile Hokayem How does the selection of new Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati--a Sunni Muslim hand-picked by Hezbollah, a Shiite movement--alter Iran’s influence or reach in Lebanese politics in practical terms?The swift change in government reflects the ascendancy of Hezbollah in Lebanese…

Why Tunisia and not Iran

January 25, 2011
Steven Heydemann       In Tunisia, a small, homogeneous state on the southern Mediterranean, a popular uprising forced the overthrow of a long-ruling dictator in early 2011.  Ruthless repression of mass protests failed.  In just one month, Tunisians ousted an entrenched authoritarian regime…

Why the Istanbul talks failed

January 23, 2011
Michael Adler in Istanbul Why did talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers in Istanbul January 21-22 fail to produce any agreement or significant movement toward a compromise?The talks deadlocked after Iran imposed two preconditions on any deal designed to assuage fears that the…

Could Iran deliver a bomb? Four basics about Iran’s ballistic missiles

January 21, 2011
Michael Elleman      International concern—and diplomacy—over Iran’s nuclear program have focused largely on Tehran's growing abilities to enrich uranium, a process essential for both peaceful nuclear energy and to make a bomb. But a second key issue is the Islamic Republic's ability to actually…

Iran’s domestic woes dictate outcome of nuclear talks

January 20, 2011
Geneive Abdo       Iran’s leaders face a host of problems at home and abroad that deeply impact international diplomatic efforts. The outcome of current talks between Tehran and the world’s six major powers—as well as any future initiatives—is likely to be heavily influenced by the regime’s…

Iran’s Nuclear Setbacks: A key for U.S. diplomacy

January 18, 2011
David Albright and Andrea Stricker       Iran’s nuclear program is suffering mounting setbacks, which in turn will provide more time for diplomacy and reduce the imminence of military strikes. The problems fall into three broad categories : increased difficulty of obtaining essential parts on…

Nuke estimate may buy diplomacy more time

January 13, 2011
Michael Adler What does the new estimate by Israel’s retiring Mossad chief Meir Dagan-- that Iran won’t have a weapon before 2015-- do to the diplomatic effort? It reinforces it. Diplomacy needs time and and gets time if Iran is stalled in its nuclear program, as is apparently the case.  How…

What's Turkey's Role in the Second Round of Iran Talks?

January 10, 2011
Henri J. Barkey Previous talks have always been in European venues, so why Istanbul for this second round of talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers over Iran’s controversial nuclear program?  Iran called for the talks to be held in Istanbul to reward Turkey—and also Brazil, since…

Patterns of Iran Human Rights Abuses 2010

December 16, 2010
Hadi Ghaemi       Iran launched a sweeping crackdown on human rights and civil society in 2010, following political unrest after the disputed June 2009 presidential election. The executive branch, the Revolutionary Guards and security services increasingly engaged in the arbitrary exercise of…

Iran’s trade with major powers increasing, despite sanctions

December 12, 2010
Semira N. Nikou     Trade between Iran and the world’s six major powers increased well into 2010, despite international sanctions and tough financial restrictions, according to International Monetary Fund figures and individual foreign ministries. Countries now negotiating with Iran include the…

Iran nuclear talks: A widening chasm

December 9, 2010
Robin Wright (Council on Foreign Relations interview)There seems to have been a little progress during the two days of meetings in Geneva, but where's the emphasis? How "little" and how much "progress"?The emphasis has to be on "little." In many ways, it appears that the two sides are even further…

Statements on the Dec. 6-7 talks between Iran and the major powers

December 7, 2010
       Iran and the world’s six major powers held talks in Geneva on Dec. 6 and 7. The only agreement was to hold a second round in Istanbul in January. These are major statements or comments by the delegations as widely reported in the press. .  European Union foreign policy chief Lady Catherine…

Prospects for talks with Iran face huge obstacles

December 3, 2010
Shahram Chubin        Negotiations between Iran and its critics are rare. They are always welcome, although they have seldom been productive. The talks in Geneva on Dec. 6 and 7 face the same huge obstacles as past diplomacy.         First, the two sides—Iranian officials on one side of the…

Primer on Dec. 6-7 talks between Iran and the world’s major powers

November 30, 2010
Ellen LaipsonWhy are the upcoming talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers important?The talks are the most important opportunity in more than one year for the international community to vet differences with Iran over its nuclear activities.  The mere resumption of talks--which include…

U.S. cables “wiki-leaked” show Gulf hawkish on Iran

November 29, 2010
Afshin Molavi What are the most significant Wikileaks revelations?The U.S. diplomatic cables portray the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain as very hawkish on Iran, even urging the United States to attack their Persian Gulf neighbor to forestall its nuclear program.…

U.N. report says Iran’s nuclear program temporarily stopped

November 24, 2010
Michael Adler The International Atomic Energy Agency – the U.N. nuclear watchdog – issued a report on Iran’s controversial nuclear program on Nov. 23. What did it conclude, in a nutshell? It reported that Iran stopped uranium enrichment for at least one day on Nov. 16, although it provided no…

Iran's Worsening Military Status

November 23, 2010
Bruce O. Riedel        Iran's military leaders, both in the regular military and the Revolutionary Guards, cannot be pleased with trends in the regional military balance. They retain formidable retaliatory power both in missiles and militant allies, but the basics of the military balance are…

Iran’s military exercises send strategic message to Israel, the United States

November 19, 2010
Michael Connell        Iran launched five-day military exercises on Nov. 16 to test its air defenses in case of an attack on its nuclear sites or other sensitive facilities. The war games—dubbed Defenders of the Sky of Velayat III—are the largest exercises ever held, according to the government.…

Case of alleged adulteress reflects Iran’s internal divisions

November 17, 2010
Haleh Esfandiari What is Iran trying to do or prove in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to be stoned to death for alleged adultery and later sentenced to hang for complicity in the murder of her husband? The Ashtiani affair shows once again the internal divisions…

New Report by U.S. Institute of Peace and Stimson Center: Recommendations to Rebalance U.S. Policy Toward Iran

November 15, 2010
Daniel Brumberg       The chances of success in negotiations with Iran would increase if the international community extended a new offer of “strategic engagement,” while sustaining sanctions.       The United States should take advantage of the leverage gained from the sanctions’ success to…

Iran ranked higher than Turkey, Brazil by U.N. development index

November 12, 2010
Kevan Harris               Iranians are doing better in health and education than their counterparts in key countries in the developing world, according to a new U.N. report. The 2010 U.N. Human Development Report ranks Iran at 70 out of 169 countries--higher than Brazil at 73, Venezuela at 75,…

State and people both show nerves over subsidy reform

November 10, 2010
Semira N. Nikou       A bad case of nerves has hit Iran.          With long-delayed subsidy reform due to take effect any day, merchants have already jacked up prices of basic goods as much as 30 percent in anticipation of higher costs to them. And long lines have been forming at gas stations as…

Why Ahmadinejad Lashed out at Russia

November 7, 2010
Mark N. KatzWhy is Ahmadinejad so publicly critical of Russia?Ahmadinejad has harshly criticized for Moscow for cancelling its previously agreed-upon sale of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran.  Tehran expected these weapons to be delivered in mid-2009, but Moscow first cited delays for "…

Revolutionary Guards Criticize President Ahmadinejad

November 5, 2010
Alireza Nader        Recent criticism of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the Revolutionary Guards publication Payam-e Enghelab (Message of the Revolution) is in some ways unprecedented. Yet it is also not completely surprising. Ahmadinejad, who has been opposed by the reformists and the…

Iran’s Troubled Five-Year Plan

November 4, 2010
Farideh Farhi         After months of wrangling, Iran’s parliament finally approved the outline of a new five-year economic, cultural and social plan on Oct. 30. Yet the vote underscored the divide within Iran’s legislature. The plan is also both so overly ambitious and so vague that the…